History of N.A. Buffen

In 1951 when Nathan Arthur ("N.A.") Buffen started his wholesale distribution business in the basement of his father's grocery store, he began with one overriding rule: Exceed customers' expectations. He believed that this was the way to earn a client's trust and loyalty over the long term. Over the years, it evolved into a supplier of grocery and grocery-related products primarily focusing on the independently owned stores, and eventually grossing more than 80 percent of its sales in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Larry Buffen, currently president and owner of N.A. Buffen, began working in his father's firm while attending school and joined the family business after attending Saint Louis University and serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. Initially, starting as a salesman in 1968, he soon took over the role of buyer before eventually taking over as president for his father.

Andy Buffen joined the company in August of 1993, becoming the third generation in the family business. Andy earned a degree in business and family economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia's School of Business. He also attended the University of Wisconsin and currently serves as the vice president of purchasing.


N.A. Buffen Today

Today, wholesale distribution revolves in an entirely different universe. The hallmarks of this 21st Century business are speed and price. At N.A. Buffen, our 800+ customers know they have a true inventory partner that appreciates their need for timely stock, at the best price, which levels the playing field against major food chains. This allows small-to-medium sized super market chains, independently owned supermarkets and convenience stores to be extremely competitive in today's market place. Yet while speed and pricing are key, the cornerstone of N.A. Buffen's business is customer service. We wish to share with you our exceptional approach to meeting our clients' needs and demonstrate why it's worked for so long.

The key to N.A. Buffen's success is to seek out special buying opportunities and only purchases merchandise at a great price. As a true wholesale distributor, our smaller retailers appreciate this overall goal of saving money. Our growth in recent years, especially within the grocery category, has been a direct result of this principle.

The N.A. Buffen definition of exceeding our customers' expectations is to offer customers the best quality wholesale merchandise at a competitive price that is partnered with exemplary service. It is a recipe that continues to serve us well.

Whether you need a warehouse program, direct store delivery or a customized program tailored just for you, N.A. Buffen has the expertise and seasoned staff to create a solution to match your category management needs.



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